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Encyclopedia > Culpeo
Conservation status: Lower Risk
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Pseudalopex
Species: P. culpaeus
Binomial name
Pseudalopex culpaeus
(Molina, 1782)

The culpeo is a South American species of wild dog. It is the second largest South American canid after the maned wolf. In its appearance it resembles a fox. It has grey fur, a white chin, reddish legs, and a stripe on its back which may be barely visible.

Its distribution extends from Ecuador and Peru to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. It is most common on the western slopes of the Andes, where it inhabits open country and deciduous forests.

Its diet consists of rodents, rabbits, birds, lizards, and, to a lesser extent, plants or carrion. Allegedly the culpeo attacks sheep and therefore it is often hunted or poisoned. In some regions it has become rare, but the species is not threatened with extinction.

  Results from FactBites:
Lioncrusher's Domain -- Culpeo (Pseudalopex culpaeus) facts and pictures (428 words)
The culpeo is the largest of the South American foxes.
The culpeo society is a hierarchical matriarchy, since it is the females who fight for dominance.
The culpeo is hunted for its skins in Argentina and Bolivia, but this does not seem to be having an impact on their population.
Culpeo Foxes in Patagonia (1589 words)
Culpeos prey on sheep, and in many areas of Patagonia, particularly in Chubut and Santa Cruz Provinces, they are killed with poison which also damages non-target species.
Hunting of culpeos was banned in Neuquén during 1981 and 1982, but since the ban was lifted in 1983 the legal harvest has not recovered.
Novaro, A. Feeding ecology and abundance of a harvested population of culpeo fox (Dusicyon culpaeus) in Patagonia.
  More results at FactBites »



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